Santa Monica City Council could appoint a replacement for former City Councilmember Kevin McKeown as soon as next Tuesday.
If Council makes an appointment to the vacant seat at Tuesday’s meeting, then the appointee may be sworn in immediately and assume their seat or may be sworn in at the next regularly scheduled meeting on July 13. After being sworn in, the person appointed would serve until a new Councilmember is elected at the next general municipal election, which will be Nov. 8, 2022, as required under the City Charter.
If no appointment is made at the upcoming meeting, then the charter calls for Council to hold a special election to fill the vacancy, according to staff, who noted the election would likely be held on Nov. 2, 2021. The Nomination Period for this election would start on July 12, 2021, and the person elected would serve out the balance of the unexpired term.
The appointment is necessary following an unexpected retirement announcement from Councilmember Kevin McKeown, who was in the midst of his sixth term when he raised his hand during a meeting in May after hours of questions and public comments.
“Before we continue, I have a brief announcement and this is something I wanted to say at the same time, both to the council and to the community. I have decided to retire,” McKeown said. ”You’ve all been very kind about me not looking my age but I am well into my seventies. I am profoundly grateful for the many years that I had the privilege and honor of being able to be a service to this city, which I deeply love, but I have decided to retire.”
McKeown then exited the zoom and left Council in shock.
At its next meeting, Council adopted a resolution declaring McKeown’s seat vacant as of June 11, 2021, and the City Clerk was directed to publish a legal notice for the vacancy and invite online applications of those interested to be presented to the Council at this week’s meeting for possible appointment. In total, 35 applications were received by the 12 p.m. June 22, 2021 deadline, according to the recently released Council agenda.
A full list is included below: